Clinton urges Arkansas Dems to support Obama at Jonesboro rally

JONESBORO, Ark. (WMC-TV) - With less than two weeks left until election day, former President Bill Clinton rallied voters in his home state to send the Obama-Biden ticket to the White House.

"These other states that are voting for Barack Obama are not a bit more progressive than we are," he said. "And they don't have better race relations than we do."

Hundreds of people waited hours to hear Clinton speak for about 20 minutes.

"He's the best suited at bringing long-term growth back to the economy, to deal with the health care and education challenges we face, to restore our standing in the world, bring the troops home from Iraq and protect the genuine national security interests of America."

Clinton also said having Obama as president will help create jobs for Arkansas. "You've got to have a president committed to producing the jobs, getting the manufacturing jobs here, and building the electrical grid necessary for us to put the windmills where the wind blows and take the juice to where people are."

Organizers say Clinton's campaign for Obama is vital in the state that gave Sen. Hillary Clinton her biggest win in the presidential primary with 70 percent of the vote.

"This has nothing to do with ideology or even party," he said. "This is about who gets it."

While the majority of the people in the crowd were longtime Obama supporters, some Arkansas Democrats are not yet sold on their party's candidate.

"I'm not decided," said voter Carrie Smith. "And there are some issues I'm wanting to get made more clear for me so I can make up my mind by the fourth."

Clinton won the state in 1992 and 1996, but Arkansas voters supported President Bush in the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections.

A recent poll shows McCain leading in the state.

Clinton said voters can respect the Arizona senator without voting for him. "Every one of you, without reservation, can be grateful to Sen. McCain for the service he gave our country and for the fact he survived the prisoner of war experience. But he's not well-suited to serve now, because he's wrong on the issues we need dealt with now."

Saturday's Jonesboro appearance was the last of three stops Clinton made in Arkansas to drum up support for Obama, and Democratic leaders say it drew his largest crowd.
From Jonesboro, Clinton hurried off to his next engagement in Atlanta.

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